Somali pirates' longest-held hostages including six Indians rescued

London, Dec. 30 (ANI): The longest-ever Somali pirate ordeal has ended for Iceberg-1 crew after two years and nine months of torture, fear and starvation.

European anti-piracy troops carried out their first ever air attack against Somali pirates' equipment on land, and rescued the crew.

At the time of the attack, the Panamanian-flagged ship had a crew of 24, which included 8 Yemenis, 6 Indians, 4 Ghanaians, 2 Sudanese, 2 Pakistani and 1 Filipino.

According to the Telegraph, the 22 surviving crew of the MV Iceberg-1 were finally rescued last week, most had long given up hope of ever returning home.

The ageing cargo ship was hijacked by Somali pirates nearly three years ago as it set off on a voyage to Britain with a cargo of electrical goods, the report said.

The ship's owners had refused to pay the 10 million dollars ransom they demanded.

According to the report, as the pirates' frustration grew, the torture sessions began. Crewmen were whipped with electrical cable, thrown into the sea and shot at, or trussed up and left hanging upside down.

The third officer went mad seven months into the ordeal and killed himself. Another who tried to drown himself was fished out and locked in a room alone for five months as punishment.

At one point the pirates, desperate to find a way to make a profit from their prize, even threatened to sell the crew's kidneys.

In the end, a rescue operation was carried out by the multi-national piracy fleet, with its warships and hi-tech weaponry.

They killed three of the pirates and laid siege to the ship for two weeks, riddling it with bullets, before the surviving pirates finally surrendered, the report added. (ANI)